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FCC, Encino Settle Licensing Dispute

Issue involved three Texas AMs

The Media Bureau and Encino Broadcasting have reached an agreement that will allow Encino to obtain license renewals for three Texas AMs.

In Texas, Encino owns KELG(AM), Manor, KOKE(AM), Pflugerville and KTXZ(AM), West Lake Hills.

In 2013, the FCC told Encino that the broadcaster had filed the paperwork for its license renewals too late, and that Encino would lose authority to operate the stations and the agency would eliminate their calls from its database. Encino then asked for Special Temporary Authority to continue station operation pending license renewal and also sought reinstatement of its licenses and call letters.

Before the agency reinstated the licenses and the calls, it proposed an $18,000 fine because the broadcaster continued to operate the stations after the STA expired; Encino disputed the fine based on financial hardship.

Both sides now agree continuing the proceeding would be “time consuming and require substantial expenditure of public and private resources,” according to the decision.

In the consent decree, the FCC and Encino agree to settle the dispute. Encino will make a “voluntary contribution” to the U.S. Treasury of $2,000; afterwards, the Media Bureau will grant the pending license renewals for the three stations.